“Why is that?” Wei Chongrong was stunned, his expression puzzled.
Wei Kou sighed lightly and said calmly: “Tuduo is a shrewd man. Nowadays, Jing’an City is tightly guarded inside and outside. Even with your skills, Rong’er, I’m afraid it’s not easy to get in and out. Won’t it be a burden to take me with you?”
Wei Chongrong was about to explain that he was absolutely sure he could save her when he heard Wei Kou say: “If it is convenient for you to move, can you save Ning’er and Meng’er for me, so that they have the opportunity to avenge and restore the country in the future? As for me, what is the difference between leaving or not?”
Hearing this, Wei Chongrong fell silent. As Wei Kou said, he and Jun Hua were quite comfortable going in and out of the palace without alerting the enemy, but the two of them could only save two people at most. After all, Wei Kou and her sons weren’t proficient in martial arts.
And once they rescued someone, this would alert Tuduo, who would inevitably strengthen his defences and make it impossible for the same action to be taken a second time. Wei Kou had two sons, and if they had to choose two out of three, she would definitely not go with them.
Seeing Wei Chongrong’s embarrassed expression, Wei Kou gritted her teeth and said, “Rong’er, if it’s really inconvenient for you, you can just take Ning’er.” Meng’er was too young to understand anything. If out of her two sons she could only save one, she had to give up on Meng’er.
Realising that Wei Kou misunderstood what he meant, Wei Chongrong hurriedly explained: “Sister, it’s not like this. I can save both Ning’er and Meng’er, but…” With Ruan Ning and Ruan Meng gone, he couldn’t imagine what Tuduo would do to Wei Kou.
“Rong’er, it’s fine.” Wei Kou smiled, her smile light and sweet like sunshine, “As long as Ning’er and Meng’er are safe, I will be worthy of my husband.” If not for the sake of her two sons, how could she be forced by Tuduo to give up her dignity?
Wei Chongrong frowned deeply. He didn’t try to persuade Wei Kou anymore, but racked his brains to think about whether it was possible to save both mother and sons. The final answer was no. He and Jun Hua couldn’t do that.
Tuoba Xianhan was far away in Yao’an, and Dongfang stayed behind in Dongshan Town, and there was no way for them to get here. Apart from them, among Wei Chongrong’s people in Yizhou no one could enter and exit the Nanyue Palace. They only had one chance to save people.
After a long time, Wei Chongrong finally raised his head, looked at Wei Kou deeply and asked in a low voice, “Sister, where are Ning’er and Meng’er?” Since Wei Kou valued those two children more than her own life, he would definitely fulfil her wish.
When Wei Kou saw that Wei Chongrong had agreed to her request, her expression obviously relaxed: “Ning’er and Meng’er are in Fuyou House, just northwest of the royal palace. As far as I know, Tuduo put a lot of people by their side, so you must be careful.”
“I understand.” Wei Chongrong nodded lightly, and then solemnly said to Wei Kou: “Sister, promise me that as long as there is a chance, you will wait for me to come back to save you.” As long as the Great Yan still valued its princess, Tuduo might have kept Wei Kou alive.
Wei Kou was silent for a long time and slowly said, “I promise you, as long as he doesn’t kill me, I will live.”
Wei Chongrong squeezed Wei Kou’s hand and jumped out of the window without alerting anyone from start to finish.
Wei Kou felt the residual heat in her palm, and a very light and beautiful smile appeared at the corners of her lips.
Jun Hua lay carefully on the roof, observing the movements of the entire palace. There were a few guards walking back and forth. Fortunately, they were patrolling at regular intervals. He watched closely for a long time and found three possible routes out of the palace.
Not long after, Wei Chongrong returned to him alone, his expression somewhat gloomy.
Jun Hua bit his lip, puzzled: “Where is Sister, why are you not together?” Before Wei Kou got married, she loved Jun Hua very much. Every time he came to the palace, she would take him to play and would desperately stuff him with anything delicious and fun.
“Sister wants us to save her two sons.” Wei Chongrong said into Jun Hua’s ear.
Jun Hua frowned, showing an expression similar to Wei Chongrong’s earlier and then coming to the same conclusion. But he was still quite reluctant, wrinkling his brow and asking, “Brother Rong, is there really no other way?”
Wei Chongrong said with a bitter smile: “We are not just going to get people out of the palace and call it a day. We need to bring them back to the Great Yan safely.” Jing’an City was hundreds of li away from Dongshan Town, and most of the roads were mountainous. If they needed to avoid being seen and took a detour through Xiaoluo, it was thousands of li. How could they take three people?
Jun Hua lowered his head, muttered something in a low voice that Wei Chongrong didn’t hear clearly, and immediately asked, “Where are Sister’s sons?” Jun Hua’s temperament had always been decisive. Once he decided what to do, he would do it resolutely and never hesitate.
Wei Chongrong raised his finger and pointed to the northwest direction of the palace, and the two began to discuss the route to save people and get out of the palace.
In the meantime, Jun Hua raised his hand and rubbed his eyes from time to time, looking obviously drowsy. Wei Chongrong turned his head to kiss his cheek and asked in a low voice, “Sleepy?” Since entering the territory of Nanyue, they hadn’t slept soundly; not to mention Jun Hua, even Wei Chongrong had to grit his teeth to endure.
Jun Hua waved his hand, motioning that he was okay: “I’ve been staying in place for too long, so I’m a little sleepy. I’ll be fine later.”
They waited on the roof for a while until the two shifts of guards changed before quietly sneaking into Fuyou House.
What Wei Kou said was true; there were indeed many guards and servants in Fuyou House, more than around her. However, it was the fourth of five night watch periods(1), the best time to sleep. Wei Chongrong was prepared, and with the sweet dream fragrance that made people fall asleep, he entered the bedroom unnoticed.
He didn’t know which of the two children was sick but there was a strong smell of medicine in the room, making him feel worried.
There were two maids guarding the bed. Although they were asleep, Wei Chongrong wasn’t at ease, and pressed their sleep-inducing acupuncture points.
“Ning’er, wake up, Ning’er…” On the wide bed, the two children slept, hugging each other.
Wei Chongrong didn’t care about Ruan Meng, who slept like a pig, and just called Ruan Ning, but he also judged from the breathing of the two brothers that it was Ruan Ning who was sick, and the child looked very weak. Wei Chongrong didn’t know if he could follow them.
After being called several times in a row, Ruan Ning finally woke up. His subconscious reaction was to hug his younger brother tightly, before turning his head to look at Wei Chongrong and asking, “Who are you?” His voice was low and hoarse, and he was coughing and wheezing even after saying a few words.
“I am your mother’s younger brother, and she asked me to save you.” Wei Chongrong had thought about it; if Ruan Ning didn’t cooperate, he would just knock him out and take him away. As for the explanation or something, let’s go back to the Great Yan and talk about it slowly, don’t bother with it now.
Unexpectedly, Ruan Ning didn’t doubt his words and asked with his eyes flashing: “Are you Fourth Uncle?”
Wei Chongrong nodded hurriedly. He didn’t expect Ruan Ning to guess his identity. It couldn’t be better.
“Where is Mother Queen? Where is she? Can we go together?” Ruan Ning became more excited, and his voice suddenly rose.
Wei Chongrong hurriedly covered his mouth and admonished: “Ning’er, keep your voice down, don’t alert people.”
Ruan Ning nodded hurriedly, indicating that he understood. Wei Chongrong let him go and said, “I’m here to save you and Meng’er.” Regarding Wei Kou, he didn’t plan to tell Ruan Ning anything for the time being. That was not something that could be explained in two or three sentences.
Ruan Ning blinked in confusion, but didn’t ask any more questions. Wei Chongrong picked him up and called Jun Hua to carry Ruan Meng.
Probably because of the sudden change in position Ruan Meng fidgeted and muttered something. Jun Hua thought he had woken him up and was so scared that he stiffened all over and didn’t dare to move. Fortunately, Ruan Meng just said something unconsciously and immediately fell asleep again.
Ruan Ning said in a muffled voice: “Meng’er won’t wake up when he sleeps, but when he wakes up, he might cry.”
Jun Hua was dumbfounded, and his movements became more cautious. Wei Chongrong hurriedly reminded: “Press his acupuncture point before leaving the palace, you must not let Meng’er cry.” They had already calculated that they would leave the palace before dawn. If they were lucky enough, they could leave the city before they were discovered.
After Wei Chongrong finished speaking, he took out a small porcelain bottle and gave a snow ginseng pill to Ruan Ning. The child’s body temperature was not normal and there would be several days of running around in front of them. Wei Chongrong was really afraid that Ruan Ning would not be able to hold on, but they had no time to wait for him to recuperate, so they could only take this risk.
Ruan Ning had obviously heard a lot about Wei Chongrong from Wei Kou and trusted him implicitly.
At the darkest moment before dawn, Wei Chongrong and Jun Hua left the palace smoothly according to the original plan and also managed to leave the city. Unfortunately, their good luck only lasted until this moment. The people in the palace quickly discovered the disappearance of Ruan Ning and Ruan Meng, and Tuduo sent his men to chase after them in all four directions.
At that moment, Wei Chongrong and Jun Hua weren’t even a hundred li away from Jing’an City.
“Little Monkey, take Ning’er and wait for me at Muyun Mountain.” Wei Chongrong said, handing over Ruan Ning, who was already asleep, and taking Ruan Meng, “I will lead them away first. If they chase us like this all the way, we won’t be able to go back.”
“But…” Jun Hua hesitated a little and didn’t immediately respond to Wei Chongrong’s words.
“Don’t worry, I will come to meet you before dawn tomorrow.” As long as they got up the mountain, the horses would be useless. With Jun Hua’s qinggong, no one would be able to catch up with him. “If I don’t arrive on time, take Ning’er and go first. His illness can’t be delayed.”
“But…” Jun Hua was even more reluctant, hesitating for a moment and saying, “Why don’t you arrive on time?”
“I mean just in case. Even if we can’t meet on Muyun Mountain, we can meet when we return to Dongshan Town, right?”
Jun Hua nodded unwillingly, and the two ran in different directions. At this time, neither of them could have imagined that the place where they would meet next time would be neither Muyun Mountain nor Dongshan Town.
- 01:00-03:00 a.m.